In a letter sent to the European People’s Party (EPP) chair, Manfred Weber, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban suggested the idea of a looser form of cooperation between Fidesz and EPP, by creating a subgroup within the party, based on the former model between the EPP and European Democrats (EPP-ED).
“Our membership in the EPP has been consensually suspended … however the ways this would alter our cooperation in the European Parliament at the Group Level was never thoroughly discussed,” Orban wrote in his letter, urging Weber to consider the proposal as a “sign of good will.”
Under the proposed model, Fidesz representatives would remain in the EPP faction, but in a “looser form of cooperation” that would allow the two groups “to avoid future conflict of views, interests and communication problems.”
Fidesz membership has been suspended in the EPP since 2019, following a joint proposal by the European parliamentary group and the Hungarian party, whose narrative reads that EPP has lost its Christian democrat roots and it has endorsed liberalism.
Although a three-member evaluation committee was created to assess whether Fidesz fulfils the democratic criteria in EPP’s manifesto, it was dissolved in June, leaving the future of Fidesz in the EPP unclear.
Calls mount for Fidesz expulsion from EPP
Last week, EPP’s chief, Donald Tusk spoke out against Fidesz’ membership to the European centre-right group, citing that there’s nothing else left to prove that the Hungarian party has crossed the line.
“What else should Fidesz do for all of you to see that they simply don’t fit in with our family?” Tusk wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday, with his comments following a series of incidents involving Hungarian MEPs.
Only days after Hungarian MEP Jozsef Szajer, a noted anti-gay lawmaker, resigned after participating in a homosexual orgy that involved 25 other men, which was a major violation of Brussels’ COVID-19 restrictions, Tamas Deutsch, another of Hungary’s MEPs, came under intense criticism for comments directed at Weber.
After Deutsch compared Weber’s comments to the practices of the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s infamous secret police, EPP members send a letter asking for his expulsion.